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Results & Constituencies
 
 Lewes
Other Liberal Democrat hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Norman Baker Liberal Democrat 25,588 56.3 +13.1
Simon Sinnatt Conservative 15,878 34.9 -5.7
Paul Richards Labour 3,317 7.3 -3.3
John Harvey UK Independence 650 1.4 +0.9
Majority 9,710 21.4
Turnout 45,433 68.5 -7.9
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 9.4% from Conservative to Liberal Democrat
Lab-Con (against 1997) 1.2% from Conservative to Labour

Description
Norman Baker, who captured this seat for the Liberal Democrats in 1997, won with a 7.5% swing. It was an unexpected Lib Dem gain. The seat not only has an impeccable Tory history, but from 1885 and 1974 it was represented by members of the same family - the Beamishes.

The picturesque town of Lewes is small but politically important - as the County town it houses the headquarters of fire, police, ambulance, health authority services, three tiers of local government and a Crown Court. The town’s history goes back a long way. It began to develop after William landed at Pevensey Bay in 1066, but by 1557 it had become famous for rather grimmer reasons - persecution of Protestants by Queen Mary led to 17 martyrs being burned to death in the High Street. These deaths are remembered in the annual pageantry of the Lewes Bonfire where an image of the Pope is burned.

Unemployment in the seat is low overall but this masks much higher levels in Newhaven, which receives money from the South East Development Agency and European sources to encourage housing and other development.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Lewes
Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative
Name Party Votes %
Norman Baker Liberal Democrat 21,250 43.2
Tim Rathbone Conservative 19,950 40.6
Mark Patton Labour 5,232 10.6
Lucille Butler Referendum 2,481 5.0
J S Harvey UK Independence 256 0.5
Majority 1,300 2.6
Turnout 49,169 76.4
 
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